Market watch: Beef exports

09 May 2018

Australian beef exports for March were valued at A$690 million, an increase of 9% year-on-year (ABS). This brings the year-to-March total (latest available ABS data) to just under A$1.7 billion, up by 12% on the same period last year. The Australian dollar has declined 5.9US¢ since the end of January and is currently trading at 74.5US¢ – helping Australian meat to remain competitive in international markets. The global average unit value for Australian beef was A$7.06/kg for March, up 1% year-on-year.

Eastern states cattle slaughter totalled just over 515,000 head for April, an increase of 20% year-on-year. This brought the year-to-date total to 2,070,005 head, up 8% on 2017 levels. This increase was reflected in export volumes with beef shipments for the month reaching 88,180 tonnes shipped weight (swt), up 32% year-on-year, bringing the year-to-date total to 325,863 tonnes swt, an increase of 15% on 2017 levels.

Australia’s largest market for boxed beef this year so far remains Japan, which totalled 93,964 tonnes swt for the year-to-April, an increase of 10% year-on-year. This was followed by the US, totalling 68,790 tonnes swt for the year-to-date, which lifted 6% on year-ago levels. Volumes to Korea rose 14% from year-ago levels, to 46,934 tonnes swt. China, also a growing market for Australian beef, increased by 34% year-on-year for the first four months of 2018, to 43,748 tonnes swt.

Other notable increases for the year-to-April included:

  • The Philippines, up 91%, to 10,900 tonnes swt
  • Indonesia, up 33%, to 16,254 tonnes swt
  • Canada, up 15%, to 7,510 tonnes swt

For further information you can view MLA’s export summaries.

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